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Wait Time Alliance

As part of its advocacy work, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) is an active member of the Wait Time Alliance (WTA), formed out of concern among Canada’s doctors over delayed access to care for their patients, and an interest in working collaboratively with stakeholders to improve wait times.

There can be several different points of waiting during a patient’s journey.  The initial wait time begins once a physician has made a differential diagnosis; that is, when it is decided that the patient requires diagnostic testing, clinical intervention, or both.

The WTA comprises several national medical specialty societies, including COS, whose members are directly involved in providing care to patients.

Learn more about the work of the Wait Time Alliance for timely access to care.

What is the difference between emergency, urgent and scheduled case in terms of wait times?

Emergency: immediate danger to life, limb or organ
Urgent: situation that is unstable and has the potential to deteriorate quickly and result in an emergency admission
Scheduled: situation involving minimal pain, dysfunction or disability (also called “routine” or “elective”)

What is the wait time for cataract surgery to restore sight?

The wait time benchmark for a scheduled case is within 16 weeks of consultation.  Urgent cases are expedited proportional to relative degree of priority.